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Old 5th February 2015
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Arrow Olympus unveils OM-D E-M5 Mark II

Today at the Japanese CIPA+ show in Japan Olympus takes the wraps off the replacement for the OM-D E-M5, its first OM-D Micro Four Thirds system camera. With such a good reputation earned by the E-M5 Olympus has opted to call the new camera the E-M5 Mark II. But although there is a glancing similarity in appearance to the original E-M5, the Mark II is to all intents and purposes a completely new design. Highlights include a 40 megapixel sensor-shift composite mode, multiple frame rate HD video modes up to 60p at last, Wi-Fi support, and a much hoped-for vari-angle rear LCD (at last).

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Old 5th February 2015
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Re: Olympus unveils OM-D E-M5 Mark II

The side by side comparison table is interesting and shows well the development of the range.

The 40M image will be very interesting to see.

Lots of questions will be asked, but I'll wait until you get back from Prague
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Re: Olympus unveils OM-D E-M5 Mark II

But I might not ask the question your were thinking of

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Thumbs up Re: Olympus unveils OM-D E-M5 Mark II

Slightly surprised by the disappearance of the "Accessory Port"

With the range of improvements to the video capabilities, I would have thought that the use of an external microphone would be maintained for the SEMA-1 Microphone Adapter Set.

Also gone is the combined AV & USB output. Which was so useful for streaming to a TV, unless that can now be done via HDMI

Interestingly there is a headphone skt on the power grip.

I'm still only using the video to a very limited degree, but sound quality has always been a big issue for that very small usage.

All the rest looks very good and I shall certainly be very interested in getting to try one.
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Re: Olympus unveils OM-D E-M5 Mark II

It would seem that my first idea of waiting to ask questions was a good one.

It looks like video stream of live view is now via HDMI and that there is a microphone skt in the power grip.
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Re: Olympus unveils OM-D E-M5 Mark II

My information is that combined USB/AV remains but if you want to use the tether mode it's all handled over USB alone (using Olympus Capture software).

The camera has a 3.5mm mic socket, too - you don't need the grip although I haven't yet seen it for my self. The grip probably adds a headphone port from what I have read elsewhere.

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Re: Olympus unveils OM-D E-M5 Mark II

This is a beautiful camera, and the upgrades to the construction, specs, and interface look excellent. But the lack of PDAF is a terrible mistake, IMO, and it's a deal-breaker for me. My biggest question for Olympus is WHY? I imagine that they worry about cannibalizing E-M1 sales, but crippling the latest model in this way always hurts sales and the brand in the end. Technology should allow a lower model to leapfrog a higher one for a time, and other companies (notably Canon and Nikon) have been very successful allowing this to happen. So I'll be waiting for the upgrade to the E-M1 before I buy.

I don't care much about video, but I also would like some honest answers about where Olympus think the video spec and features of this new model fit into the marketplace and intended audience. It's a definite improvement over the E-M5, but lags behind some of its peers. And although it has some advanced, pro-like features, others appear designed much more for amateurs. Dpreview's hands-on report includes some good descriptions of the video issues. (They generally love the camera, BTW, praising its build, feel, controls, and more).

Last question: how does the remote control work from a smartphone? What features and camera controls does it support, and how smoothly does it operate? I haven't seen any detail about this yet.

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Re: Olympus unveils OM-D E-M5 Mark II

Quote:
Originally Posted by hschnee View Post
This is a beautiful camera, and the upgrades to the construction, specs, and interface look excellent. But the lack of PDAF is a terrible mistake, IMO, and it's a deal-breaker for me. My biggest question for Olympus is WHY? I imagine that they worry about cannibalizing E-M1 sales, but crippling the latest model in this way always hurts sales and the brand in the end. Technology should allow a lower model to leapfrog a higher one for a time, and other companies (notably Canon and Nikon) have been very successful allowing this to happen. So I'll be waiting for the upgrade to the E-M1 before I buy.

I don't care much about video, but I also would like some honest answers about where Olympus think the video spec and features of this new model fit into the marketplace and intended audience. It's a definite improvement over the E-M5, but lags behind some of its peers. And although it has some advanced, pro-like features, others appear designed much more for amateurs. Dpreview's hands-on report includes some good descriptions of the video issues. (They generally love the camera, BTW, praising its build, feel, controls, and more).

Last question: how does the remote control work from a smartphone? What features and camera controls does it support, and how smoothly does it operate? I haven't seen any detail about this yet.

- Hal -
I think the answer is simple; the E-M5 is not aimed at people with legacy lenses and the E-M1, which is, will get these upgrades and more in due course.

Well regarding video I don't see Olympus expecting the E-M5 to necessarily become a pro-ready competitor to the Lumix GH3 or GH4, but they have finally responded to those who weren't satisfied with just 1080HD at 30p and a fairly low bit rate. Shooting 30p in the UK, for example, where the AC frequency is 50Hz is problematic under some lighting conditions. And there has always been a demand for 24p. 50 and 60p rates are a bonus. Of course there is no UHD (4K) mode.

The E-M5 Mark II is an advanced enthusiasts camera and therefore it is not tuned to be a more pro-like camera - whatever that is!

With either an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet you can control the camera using all the main exposure modes (PASM, etc. and now video mode, plus effects and copy JPEGs (not RAWs) to your device. If shooting RAW only you will need to use the in-camera editor to make a JPEG first. It's quite comprehensive - is there anything in particular you need to know about how it works?

Ian
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Old 6th February 2015
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Re: Olympus unveils OM-D E-M5 Mark II

Ian, you have the comparison chart with Keystone compensation mode on the E-M5 II camera but not on the E-M1. Isn't the Keystone Compensation on the E-M1 Version 2 the same as on the E-M5 II?
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Re: Olympus unveils OM-D E-M5 Mark II

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
I think the answer is simple; the E-M5 is not aimed at people with legacy lenses and the E-M1, which is, will get these upgrades and more in due course.

Well regarding video I don't see Olympus expecting the E-M5 to necessarily become a pro-ready competitor to the Lumix GH3 or GH4, but they have finally responded to those who weren't satisfied with just 1080HD at 30p and a fairly low bit rate. Shooting 30p in the UK, for example, where the AC frequency is 50Hz is problematic under some lighting conditions. And there has always been a demand for 24p. 50 and 60p rates are a bonus. Of course there is no UHD (4K) mode.

The E-M5 Mark II is an advanced enthusiasts camera and therefore it is not tuned to be a more pro-like camera - whatever that is!

With either an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet you can control the camera using all the main exposure modes (PASM, etc. and now video mode, plus effects and copy JPEGs (not RAWs) to your device. If shooting RAW only you will need to use the in-camera editor to make a JPEG first. It's quite comprehensive - is there anything in particular you need to know about how it works?

Ian
To my thinking, an "advanced enthusiasts" camera should offer the best possible support for legacy lenses. I bought the E-M5 as an upgrade to my older 4/3 camera with the understanding/expectation that it was a continuation of the line. I believe that many others did the same. The ability to use our existing lenses was a big selling point, and Olympus kept promising a solution for improved AF in the future. I've been planning on upgrading to the next top "pro" model for several reasons, but it doesn't make sense to me to limit the better AF functionality to just one model. If I need to replace my lenses for top-notch AF when I upgrade my camera, there is little reason to stay with the Olympus system. Fuji and even Samsung are making very compelling cases with their mirrorless systems . . . and besides, including phase-detection AF has advantages with any lens, with the potential to improve continuous AF, tracking of moving subjects, pulling focus in video without moving in the wrong direction first, and even overall speed. All of these belong in an enthusiast model, IMO, and are important in the face of increasing competition from other brands.

For the smartphone controls, I was wondering what parameters can be adjusted remotely. Can you change aperture, shutter speed, ISO, exposure compensation, AF point, etc.? Is there access to any of the menus or the super control panel? Or is it just a remote shutter release with live view, and the ability to download photos wirelessly? I'm not completely sure how I would use a smartphone with my camera since I've never had that capability, so I'm trying to imagine and think through the possibilities.

- Hal -
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